This post was originally published on Christina Giliberti’s blog Each and every one of us is a customer. We are customers of Tesco’s for food shopping; customers of B&Q for DIY, customers of Vodafone for mobile phone credit and customers of Amazon for, well… everything else. As suppliers and sellers ourselves, we need to establish who our customers are before we can sell to them. These are the customers interested in our products or services. They are the right “fit”, the right customer. Stage 1: Research (The who) To have any hope of selling, we must first reasearch who we can sell to. We could look at the following: Is our offering : For personal or business use For adults / males / females / children / other Expensive or cheap New or used Geared towards the general or niche market Feature rich. What does it do and who would use these features Desireable or rare This will give us some idea of our perfect match. The final result is our customer profile, which we use to seek out our potential customers. Stage 2: Search (The where) With our profile as a guide, we next search for our customer. This can be done online and offline. Online Social Media sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are great places to start. Facebook Facebook contains a lot of data on a person which we can match against our customer profile: Profile : Likes / Interests / Hobbies / Description Fans of : Groups / companies Wall: Comments / Shares / Likes / Uploads Twitter With Twitter we can look at: Profile descriptions Tweets / Retweets #tags used Recurring themes Blogs posts Companies being followed LinkedIn LinkedIn is more business-focused, but you still have access to quite a bit of information. The decision making unit in a business will differ from personal items, so tracking the correct contact in a business will aid the communication process. Look at : Profile information Groups Working history Contacts in the industry (also assists with competitor evaluation) Offline Networking events Industry events Membership events Stage 3: Target (The how) This is the important bit – Get their attention by appealing to their needs and interests. As a discussion with Sean O’Sullivan (a fellow Bloggertoner) revealed, people like to feel important, valued and understood. You need to be specific and tailor your approach to the product or service you are offering. Stick to your brand guidelines, but don’t be scared to think outside the box. Keep your customer profile at the heart of your thinking. Advertise using language specific to your target Use images and text that they can relate to Consider the best way to approach them without being obtrusive or rude Use the platforms that they are on or attend events where they will be Are you experiencing difficulties targeting the right customers? Tell us all about it. What are your thoughts on targeting? Do you use customer profiles to target?